And thus commences the break
Thursday was my last day at my main job before the 3-week holiday break. It was, to put it mildly, a very easy day. There were a few tasks that had to be accomplished, but not many, and they didn’t take long. I spoke with the district manager about my schedule once work resumes on January 3, and it looks as if my four work sites and the timing of my rotation among them isn’t likely to change. Fine by me. They’re all decent sites, and I don’t mind the slightly longer driving required. An acceptable tradeoff. If there are going to be any changed sites I should know the week before I return.
After work on Thursday I made a quick trip into Manhattan, taking the LIRR from Sayville. As is usual for off-peak trips we had to change in Babylon, which turned out to be slightly frustrating because even though the train from Babylon to Penn was an express making only a few stops, it seemed very, very slow. Which isn’t to say it was delayed, in fact it arrived right on time, but the fact that it could have gone so much faster was just plain annoying. Fortunately, our return train was one of the finest of all, the 5:09 to Speonk. It’s a dual mode, meaning that it uses diesel coaches with their nice wide seats – quite a contrast to the M-7 electric coaches and their torture seats suitable only for midget anorectic quadruple amputees – and there was no need to change at Jamaica or Babylon. It went via the Central Branch and seemed orders of magnitude faster than the earlier train.
Friday, oddly enough, I had to go back into Manhattan, basically a continuation of what we had been doing the previous day. No trains this time, for my solo trip, instead I drove to my secret free parking spot in Queens and took the R train into Manhattan. Even though my destination was on the east side, just a stop or two into Manhattan on the R, I took advantage of the unusually warm weather and stayed on the R to 23rd Street. I then walked through most of Midtown to my destination. It was definitely crowded, with Christmas shopping in full force. Speaking of crowded, when I drove back I got caught up in the early stages of rush hour. Suffice to say it wasn’t pleasant. A drive that took just over an hour in the late morning ended up taking well over twice as long. Ugh.
No travels on the weekend, just working at the Major Home Improvement Retailer. Oddly enough my schedules both days were in 15-minute increments, 7:15 on Saturday and 7:45 on Sunday. It was the last major tree-selling rush prior to Christmas, and I spent most of each shift in the tree lot. At least I finally mastered the art of tying trees on top of vehicles and didn’t have to have other workers do it for me. Once I finally saw how it was done I couldn’t imagine what had taken me so long!